Creating your very own online home is one of the exciting aspects of starting your business!
Here you can get creative and create a beautiful space for your potential clients to land, that you can make completely YOU, and where you can tell your story and present your solutions and offerings!
But before you get to pressing that publish button for the world to learn all about you and your biz, there are a few hurdles to take, and a few decisions to make. And those can feel overwhelming or confusing. So much so that you can sometimes feel paralyzed and stuck.
There seem to be so many options out there, and from the snazzy sales pages it is very difficult to figure out what the pros and cons are… And what the catch is with each platform or website builder.
Pesonally, I often talk about WordPress, and that I love it so much. But WHY do I love WordPress so much? And what are the other options?
In a nutshell: there’s an instant — or at least fast — gratification option for your website; a quick fix. But just like with a quick-fix sugar rush, there is a comedown — you could even call it a crash. And there is the slower but much more flexible and sustainable route, where you create a solid foundation for the future.
Guess what I’m loving more for you, and what would feel better for me to recommend to you if I care about you and the future of your business…?
So let’s look at the choices and options you have for your website together and explore their pros & cons, so you can shift from confusion and overwhelm to clarity and confidence about taking the next step forward!
We’ll look at two broad options: website builders as SaaS services on the one hand, and WordPress on the other.
what are SaaS platforms?
First things first – what are SaaS platforms?
To have a meaningful conversation here, I first need to explain what SaaS platforms are. SaaS stands for Software as a Service. Software as a Service (SaaS) are services that are offered “from the cloud”.
That sounds a bit up in the air, but it’s actually quite down to earth… Cloud-based solutions provide applications, services, or resources to users on demand via the internet, using servers from a cloud computing provider. These servers are typically located in data centers spread across the world. The “cloud” metaphorically represents the internet, because in the early days the internet used to be represented as a cloud in presentations.
With Cloud based services, in return for paying a monthly or annual subscription fee, you can use the software and its features.
Website builders like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Kajabi and Shopify are all SaaS systems and can be grouped together in this way.
Another website option that you’ve probably heard of is WordPress, which is the other primary choice for your website.
So when making a choice for your website, it’s really important to understand the key differences, as well as the pros and cons for these two paths – SaaS or WordPress.
Let’s find out more!
SaaS platforms: the quick & easy start solution
Imagine walking into a furnished room that’s ready to move into. That’s the essence of SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms. They offer you pre-designed templates and easy to use drag-and-drop tools to help you set up your website quickly and without breaking a sweat. It’s like picking furniture from a catalog and arranging it the way you like.
But all this ease and convenience comes with a downside. Because while SaaS platforms make it easy to start, they limit your flexibility down the road.
As your website needs to grow and expand, you find yourself running into walls that you can’t move or change because of the predefined possibilities they offer.
It’s a bit like moving into a cozy apartment, only to realize later that it’s too small and restrictive when you want to host a grand party.
Or like a caterpillar that can’t shed or stretch it’s skin and grow into something else. To become a butterfly it will need to start all over again somewhere else.
the price of initial convenience
Another factor is the costs associated with SaaS platforms. Quite a few of these website platforms offer free plans to get you started, and that can be very enticing when money is tight.
But of course there’s a catch… It’s important to realize right from the outset that many essential functionalities, that almost any serious business owner needs, are only available when you upgrade to a paid plan.
These plans range from 20 – 100 dollars per month, depending on your requirements. Those monthly fees add up, and you will have to keep paying them year after year for the lifetime of your website.
the rental paradox: who owns your website?
Another important factor is that, with a SaaS platform website, you don’t really own your online home; you rent it from the SaaS company.
As soon as you stop paying the monthly fees, your website is gone. You’re essentially renting your virtual real estate, and moving your website elsewhere is not really possible.
Yes, you can copy your content into a word document, but you’ll need to create your website elsewhere from scratch if you are not able to move forward on the platform where you started.
That can be a frustrating experience, especially after investing a lot of effort into learning to use a system that you then need to leave behind and start all over again…
now let’s talk about wordpress…
And let’s use a garden as an analogy – because who doesn’t love fruits and flowers?
WordPress is like a vast garden, where you can create anything you like, with all the seeds in the world available for you to grow.
SaaS platforms like Squarespace, Wix and Kajabi are like a small prepared garden bed of a specific size and shape, and you have only a few packages of mixed seeds available to plant…
why is wordpress so flexible and versatile?
The secret is that it’s open source.
WordPress being open source means it’s a community-driven, transparent, and highly customizable platform that has grown and evolved thanks to the contributions and dedication of a vast global community of users and developers.
WordPress is not owned by a single company with only a handful of developers working on it. On the contrary.
Anyone who uses the software can improve and expand on its functionality, so thousands of experts around the world contribute to the WordPress platform.
If there is someone with a need, there is someone who is able to create a solution for it. And these solutions are made available through plugins, most of which are free, while some are premium and come with support.
For example, we set our clients up with premium plugins for security and speed, as well as a cutting edge visual page builder.
As WordPress developers, we are almost like chefs that can sample and select from a vast worldwide market and create our own unique selection of ingredients to create a superior dish.
With WordPress there is not one single company you rely on for your site. You own your website yourself and could take it from one hosting company to the next, if you wanted to.
WordPress can’t go out of business and leave you stranded, and you are not reliant on a relatively small team of developers at one company to make sure the foundation of your website keeps working and developing.
There are hundreds of thousands of people working on and with WordPress, so if you need help with your site you won’t have any trouble finding a knowledgeable expert.
what are the downsides of wordpress?
Compared to SaaS platforms, WordPress definitely appears to have some downsides – let’s take a closer look!
One of the first is that you are responsible for your website, because you own it. And it’s important to maintain your website. That means keeping everything up to date.
This frightens many people, but in reality you can relax about it.
Because it’s easy and safe to maintain your WordPress website yourself, we teach you how to do that as part of our e-course!
Or if you don’t want to bother with it yourself, we offer a maintenance round service where we update your plugins, WordPress, and clean up your database for you for a small fee.
steeper learning curve
WordPress also has a steeper learning curve, because it simply has more options, and so there is more to learn. If you give someone a box with 5 different blocks to play with, there is not so much to learn and explain.
When you offer someone the full collection of blocks available, there is a lot more to say…
But you don’t need all these building blocks right away.
With a little help and guidance from someone who explains you exactly what you need to know to take the next step this is not a really an issue.
With the Divine DIY Website Pack we make WordPress just as easy as any SaaS platform. And so now you have something you can work on yourself that you can grow and develop as you please!
intuitive visual page builder
And now the fun stuff.
Yes, SaaS platforms have easy to use pagebuilders, but who said that WordPress doesn’t offer them? In fact there are quite a few available.
A few years ago I reviewed all of them, and chose the one that I loved the most to offer to my clients. It’s a premium option called Divi, and we share our developers licence for the Divi Builder with all our clients, so that you can use this builder for the lifetime of your website for free, and benefit from all the future updates and new features.
One of the latest things they released is Divi AI, which helps you with text writing, spelling and image generating right inside your website…
Using a Visual page builder like Divi takes the creative process to a whole new and exciting level. You work directly in your pages, which I personally find really intuitive. Here you can see a sneak peek of how it works in practise:
making your decision: what is right for you?
Choosing between SaaS platforms and WordPress really comes down to your personal situation. If you really have no budget at all right now, SaaS platforms are a viable option to get something set up quickly, and maybe even for free if you don’t need any extras and just an online business card.
But keep in mind that you’ll need to secure funds if you want to develop and grow your website on these platforms, and that there are significant recurring costs coming back for the lifetime of your website.
a sustainable & flexible long-term solution
If you have a small budget available, I really recommend you consider WordPress with help.
We have created the Divine DIY Website Pack to make WordPress and Divi just as accessible and easy as any of the SaaS platforms, and it’s the golden mean between figuring everything out by yourself, and hiring a webdesigner to do everything for you (which comes with a much bigger price tag).
And saving money, now and in the foreseeable future is not your only win here… To me, the empowerment, flexibility and independence that WordPress offers you is EVERYTHING!
Yes, I am a WordPress web-designer, so of course I recommend WordPress.
I hope that by reading what I’ve shared here it’s clear that this is not because WordPress is my pet project, but because I truly believe it is the best choice for you that gives you the most sustainable and versatile foundation for wherever your business wants to go.
Before I go to bed each night, I want to look myself in the mirror and have a clear, happy conscience, knowing deep in my heart that I am giving my clients the best, most flexible foundation and solution for their website.
That’s why I’m so passionate about WordPress in combination with Divi, and why I have poured all my love and expertise in our Divine DIY website pack.
My aim with it is to make WordPress accessible and affordable for everyone.
want to know more?
If you have any questions about websites and your options, let’s talk about it.
You can book a free website chat where you can ask me anything and where I can help you get clearer on what would work best for you.
Or simply send me a message through the contact form here.
I’d love to hear more about you and your business, and explore any questions you may have…
We hope this rather long post has cleared up some of the confusion on the choices you have for website platforms and systems. As always, we are here to help you move forward with your Website Project with Clarity and Confidence!
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